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  • Hidden door for "panic" room

    I have a weird one here. Bear with me.

    I get a call saying this guy needs a drywall repair in his basement. I call him back and tell him that I don't do estimates for drywall repairs--I just do them and bill them. He tells me it's a little more complex than a repair. So I go...

    The guy is loaded. A doctor. Takes me down into his basement that's bigger than my house. He wants me to built an 8' wide partition wall with a 36" hidden door complete with drywall the face to blend in. He even wants utility shelves on it to camouflage it.

    I've looked at the Soss hinges, but I'm not sure if that's the way to go. I can't tell if the Soss will work on something as thick as what I had envisioned building. I was planning on making the the "door" out of 2x4s with drywall on the one side. I think the drywall would prevent the 2x4s from racking (I hope).

    Or, I would get a solid door slab and screw on the drywall to that.

    I have no clue how to go about this project to be honest. It seems not that difficult, but I know that those are the jobs that always are!

    Any suggestions???
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  • #2
    Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

    Here's an idea from Gary's site: http://www.garymkatz.com/TrimTechniq...se_install.htm

    -Norm

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    • #3
      Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

      First thing that comes to my mind is even if he wants a drywall look he has to want a more solid room than studs and drywall.
      "We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are" -Talmud

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      • #4
        Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

        Greg,
        Forget using drywall, at least for the door. Sounds like a good opportunity for a swinging bookcase-type shelf unit. Hide the case with the shelf stiles. Make a toe kick that runs across the entire wall, and have the swinging case pivot over that toe kick. Piece of cake. Use a pivot hinge. They are so much easier to work with and far more durable.

        Let me know if you want me to start a drawing for you. Sounds like fun.

        Gary

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        • #5
          Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

          Originally posted by Trim Carp View Post
          First thing that comes to my mind is even if he wants a drywall look he has to want a more solid room than studs and drywall.
          That's the weird thing...I told him this wouldn't be secure and he didn't care. He didn't even want a lock on the thing. It's a little creepy if you ask me.
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          • #6
            Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

            Originally posted by Gary Katz View Post
            Greg,
            Forget using drywall, at least for the door. Sounds like a good opportunity for a swinging bookcase-type shelf unit. Hide the case with the shelf stiles. Make a toe kick that runs across the entire wall, and have the swinging case pivot over that toe kick. Piece of cake. Use a pivot hinge. They are so much easier to work with and far more durable.

            Let me know if you want me to start a drawing for you. Sounds like fun.

            Gary
            The basement is unfinished and it's a mess. He wants the thing to look utilitarian I guess. Doesn't even want the drywall taped. What specific kind of pivot hinge would you recommend?
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            • #7
              Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

              Greg, this is not a shelter. I think you misread the purpose. He wants to hide someTHING there (like valuables, safe, etc.), not himself or family. Seen that, done that.

              dg

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              • #8
                Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                Greg

                Maybe it's not for safety. My thought from your decription is a dungeon or adult "playroom". Want's it hidden but not secure.

                I have friend who has a hidden coat closet in his foyer (the dooor next to door thing looked bad). He used a masonite hollowcore door and Soss hinges. There's a 1/ 32-1/16 gap around the door, a bevel on hinge & latch sides allowed the tiny gaps.

                I'd avoid building a door--never get it flat.

                Tim
                Nothing simple is ever easy

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                • #9
                  Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                  Greg,
                  I'd use the same hinge I used on the bookcase, the Rixon.
                  Here's a quickie drawing. You'll have to make some alterations to make this work: ie, the bottom shelf will have to be reinforced underneath, and drawn more completely to get the spacing right. The top shelves might have to be thicker, too, or something, to allow for the thickness of the top pivots. And the meeting stiles might have to be a bit wider to allow more space between the cases, so everything will clear, but this is pretty close. Close enough to get a feel for it. The wall would pretty much be made out of shelving, though you could frame the wall behind the two stationary shelf units.

                  http://www.garymkatz.com/chartsdrawi...ot-shelves.skp

                  Gary

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                    I like Gary's design, but it may be too elaborate for the "shabby" look this HO seems to want.

                    If the door is not to be used often, you can simply put it on 4 casters, freestanding in the opening. Push straight back to open it. No hinges, no clearances, very tight fit.

                    dg

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                      We had nicely stained T-111 in our entry way that had a closet door on touch latches. It vanished due to the dark color.

                      It probably wasn't t-111, but this was over 30 years ago and I haven't seen it for 20 years..

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                        You know what else you can do? A very cool completely invisible SLIDING DOOR. You don't even need a pocket track. Just mount the track on the backside of the wall. Slide the door over and build the shelving in front of it, so that the verticle supports cover the edges of the door and the shelves cover the top and bottom. Done. Hidden door. NO fancy hardware. NO router templates. Make the door yourself. Out of MDF if you want! :) Get a remote control and put an electric opener on it!

                        Gary

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                          Well call me silly, but it sounds like a weed room, of course it would be for "medicinal purposes" only. ;0)
                          Last edited by WarriorWithWood; 10-15-2007, 10:20 PM. Reason: forgot smiley
                          -Dennis

                          Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                            Originally posted by Gary Katz View Post
                            You know what else you can do? A very cool completely invisible SLIDING DOOR. You don't even need a pocket track. Just mount the track on the backside of the wall. Slide the door over and build the shelving in front of it, so that the verticle supports cover the edges of the door and the shelves cover the top and bottom. Done. Hidden door. NO fancy hardware. NO router templates. Make the door yourself. Out of MDF if you want! :) Get a remote control and put an electric opener on it!

                            Gary
                            Sounds doable, but I can't visualize it. How does the track attach to the wall? I'm thinking you are saying bypass door track which is usually mounted under the top jamb.

                            Can you set me straight?
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                            Follow us on: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hidden door for "panic" room

                              I think he wants to bump off his wife and hide her body in there. He's going to lay her limp lifeless body in there, right next to yours. He can't let you walk out of there alive, you know about his secret hiding place.

                              Can I have your tools when your gone? :)
                              Tom

                              Support your country always, support your government only when they deserve it! - Mark Twain
                              This fall, fire them all, DON'T RE-ELECT ANYONE!

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